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Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just Hardcover – November 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The pastor of New York City's Redeemer Presbyterian Church offers a persuasive plea for evangelicals to embrace social justice efforts. Keller (The Reason for God), whose evangelical credentials are well respected, is among a new breed of conservative Christians eager to break out of the straitjacket that frowns on justice work as doctrinally unsound or the work of overzealous liberals. Without ever resorting to hyperbole, Keller carefully analyzes Old and New Testament passages to make the case that God's heart for justice on behalf of widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor is indisputable, and that an encounter with grace will inevitably lead to a desire for justice. This short manifesto goes further: Keller argues that gospel preaching that aims only to change hearts while remaining oblivious to unjust social structures will never fully succeed. Keller recommends that evangelicals partner with non-Christians in pursuit of social reform while speaking distinctively in their own religious idiom. Emergent Christians as well as others serious about their faith and eager for a balanced and authoritative voice on the subject will appreciate this book. (Nov.)
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“Keller shows us how a . . . spirit—one of generosity coupled with justice—can thoroughly alter not only a person but, ultimately, society as a whole. . . . Many gems are to be mined from Generous Justice.”—The Washington Times

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951902
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

TIMOTHY KELLER was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He was first a pastor in Hopewell, Virginia. In 1989 he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons. Today, Redeemer has more than five thousand regular attendees at five services, a host of daughter churches, and is planting churches in large cities throughout the world. He is the author of COUNTERFEIT GODS, THE PRODIGAL GOD, and the New York Times bestseller THE REASON FOR GOD.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on November 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I ordered Timothy Keller's "Generous Justice," I thought I was buying a book about God's justice (in condemning sinners), which has been assailed by so many recently. Never have I been so pleasantly and emotionally surprised by a book. What Keller has done instead is to wed a theology of God's grace to us, and one that is fully orthodox in nature, with a biblical emphasis on social justice. Keller's main thesis is this: God's "generous justice" to humans who are poor in spirit and in great need is a motivation for our administering social justice - as well as an evidence that we have truly received the grace of God.

This is truly a mind-blowing, heart-rending thesis - and it's hit me like a ton of bricks! The very night I read this book, I read (from the Book of Common Prayer) the prayer for Social Justice in our Evening Prayer service at church. Obviously God is trying to teach me something, and I think He's trying to teach you all the same thing. That something is that Christians are to be involved in social justice not only because it's a commandment but because it's a response to a life that's received the grace of God (His "generous justice").

Keller cuts across the great conservative/liberal divide in this book. He has something that most of you will at first disagree about, but when you truly consider it, you'll find that he's probably right. Social justice is about caring for the poor and alienated, both as individuals and as communities. To conservative Christians he preaches that social justice does indeed involve changing entire communities and that real oppression and social injustice still exists in the U.S.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on November 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller (author of the best-selling The Reason for God, and senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City) is a clear, convicting, and compelling case for the assertion that "there is a direct relationship between a person's grasp and experience of God's grace, and his or her heart for justice and the poor." (p. xiii). In his Introduction, Keller says that he wrote this book for four groups of people: (1) young Christian believers who are concerned for social justice, but often fail to let social concern affect how they spend money, conduct their careers, and choose which neighborhoods to live in; (2) orthodox Christians who approach the subject of "doing justice" with suspicion; (3) younger evangelicals who embrace social justice but jettison the traditional evangelical doctrines substitutionary atonement and justification by faith alone; and (4) unbelievers who may suspect, along with Christopher Hitchens, that "religion poisons everything" and view Christianity as one of the primary forces promoting injustice and violence. With this variety of target audiences in mind, Keller unfolds his argument for grace-driven justice in eight chapters.

Chapter one asks "what is doing justice?" and answers with an accessible study of the concepts of justice and righteousness in Scripture. While never getting overly technical, Keller shows that the Hebrew word for justice has to do with both the punishment of wrongdoing and giving people their rights (p. 3). Justice is, essentially, "to treat people equitably" - to give them their due.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By William D. Curnutt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tim Keller does another great job in writing a book that will be helpful for Pastors and laymen. He takes the issue of God's Justice and guides us through a discussion of what it justice means Biblically and how do we apply it today. There are many verses about justice and especially about helping the poor in the Old and New Testament. Many are in the Old Testament and people often dismiss them thinking that the Old Testament has been done away with and replaced with the New Testament.

But the bottom line is this, the poor we will have with us always and how do we deal with them? How do we help them with their issues of hunger, lack of resources, lack of advocates standing up for them with the judicial system and society at large. What also do we do with the "year of jubilee" where the debts of the poor are forgiven and they are given a fresh start. What should we do with that today.

Keller takes us through a discussion of the definition of Justice, why the Old Testament is still valid, what does Jesus say and how do we treat our neighbors. He reminds us that the Old Testament, specifically the nation of Israel, was a Theocracy style of government. So how do we in a democracy deal with the poor since it is a completely different style of government than a Theocracy. What is the point of justice? What should we do about standing in the gap for our neighbors who are poor, or do we ignore them and let the government deal with them through welfare?

There are deep theological issues here and deep moral issues as well. How do you respond to the poor? How do you handle your resources? What do you do regarding Charity? Why do you act charitably?
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